Like many of our readers, I’ve been planting my garden the past few weeks, one of my favorite times each year. I’ve tuned up our irrigation system, spread my chicken manure and turned the soil, planted my seeds and starts, and cringed with each thunderstorm - fearing the hail that has wiped out too many backyard tomatoes and dimpled too many autos in our region the past few years.
I’d like to begin this month’s lead-in with a congratulations and public thank-you to Elise Brown, the LoCo Marketing Intern for the past ~8 months. Elise just graduated from CSU with a degree in Economics with a Marketing emphasis, and has accepted a full-time position as a Digital Marketing Coordinator with AZDS Interactive Group in Denver beginning in early June. Elise has been a strongly contributing team member from the very start, and grew her skills and confidence throughout her LoCo experience. Thank you Elise - you get it, you want it, and you’re highly capable - and you’re fun to be around. You’ve got a bright future ahead, and we’re proud to have had you in our tank!
Longest title ever, and apt to be a fairly long post, lest I’m careful. Did I lose you already?
This is one of my favorite times of the year - the emergence of spring. The birds are returning from their southern climes, the trees are budding out, and the river flows are starting to fill out a bit. They won’t hit their peak for a few months however - June is the time for big water!
We are a couple weeks removed from Valentine’s Day - that wondrous holiday created by the greeting card companies. Snopes - that one’s not true - St. Valentines day goes WAY back. Though Hallmark did invest heavily beginning in 1913 in the notion that a greeting card was a great way to say “I love you”. Alongside the red rose growers and diamond miners investing similarly over the centuries.
You’ll read later in this issue about our LoCo Next Level speaker event held on January 30th with Zach Mercurio. Zach is the best-selling author of “The Invisible Leader - Transform Your Life, Work, and Organization with the Power of Authentic Purpose”. He has become a leading expert on this topic in recent years - helping people and organizations activate the guiding hand of purpose. He is also a CSU professor, and when we met for the first time this fall it felt like we were speaking the same language in a foreign land, and we immediately began putting plans together to have Zach speak for a LoCo event. Learn more about him here.
I love Christmas. I love the music, the lights, the time spent with friends and family, and of course the significance of the holiday for those of us who attempt to follow Christ. The crowded streets and stores I could do without, but the good comes with the bad and all in all, it’s a joyful time of year for most of us.
Did you know? - The second-largest (behind NRA, duh) and fastest growing gun-rights organization in the US is based here in Northern Colorado. Located in Windsor, the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR for short) was founded in 2000, and has grown to become a very prominent organization, with over 4.5 million members. One of my longtime friends used to work for them, and I’ve met the founder, Dudley Brown. For some reason I always remember one of their old T-shirt designs that proclaimed, “Gun ownership is a RIGHT, not a privilege”. So, as you might guess, their agenda is basically no compromise on individual gun ownership freedoms. It’s a complicated issue, and I’m not here to get myself a bunch of new haters - but I will say that I enjoy the simplicity of their message.
A job I had during my college days was working for the Fargodome - a sports and music venue in Fargo, ND. It was very part-time, always under 20 hours/week, and often late at night or on weekends. About half my time was spent zipping in or zipping out the artificial turf - mindless and tedious work - but it paid pretty good on the per hour, and I worked with fun people.
The remaining time was spent setting up or tearing down for music shows and other events. Highlight: I met Ted Nugent in the parking lot one day - he was shooting his bow and arrow at animal targets, waiting for his crew to set up the show. He was nice. The role I especially cherished - and nobody else wanted to do - was to climb the trusses behind the stage and adjust where the lights were pointing, and occasionally change bulbs or similar. No safety lines, no training, no hazard pay - but I was an excellent tree climber and have almost no fear of heights - so it was...
Only years after founding LoCo Think Tank did I attempt to define the foundations of the business model. My interactions with business members of Vistage and other peer advisory group models, and later membership in a Trusted Advisors chapter of Vistage, convinced me of the extraordinary power of peer learning. Likewise, my involvement in Rotary Club - where our motto is Service Above Self - was an obvious element. The third foundational element actually preceded the others in time - my role as a Discussion Leader within an organization called Bible Study Fellowship when my wife and I lived in Colorado Springs. Though over 30 at the time, I was new to matters of faith, and when invited to the role I protested that I didn’t know very much about the Bible. The response - you don’t need to! My mentor (and recruiter) shared that the role calls for a facilitator, not a teacher, and the duties required only that I maintain order in the conversation, and ask...